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Saturday, July 13, 2013

My Calling

I'm getting a little bit of a slow start this morning, and that is okay.  But I don't want a weekend like I have been having, which involved sitting around by myself too much, watching television.

I have been thinking about my "calling" in life.  I have never given that a lot of thought.  My ex considered himself specially called and I got the back side of that, which was never good.  But we all have a purpose.  The only thing I feel really passionate about is to help people who are going through what I have been through.  Emotional abuse, self-esteem issues, depression (in some areas) and, of course, weight issues.  And a lot of that chapter of my life is still being written.  It does make me want to read and study more, and develop a dialogue that I might share with people who confide in me.

I think the biggest thing I have learned the last few years is how important it is to be proactive about your issues.  I spent so much of life wishing I was different, like someday God was going to "zap" me and I would magically be different.  I finally realized that if life was going to be different and if I was going to be different, I was going to have to get up and start being different.  That sounds funny, I know.  Like, if I could do that, I would have done it a long time ago.  But it is the little steps.  I use this example a lot (because it is something I struggle with), but if you want to be a better housekeeper, you have to get up and start cleaning house.  It may be just getting up during commercials at first.  I have kept a "To Do" list at times, and just being able to mark things off was encouraging.  But you have to get up and start doing it, even just a little bit, for a change to start taking place.  You are not magically going to have a home like you see in magazines if you just wish for it.

You also have to believe that whatever you are wanting to change in your life is possible.  We get so bound up in hopelessness.  I remember a couple of years ago, I finally was able to see myself healed and whole.  I wasn't there, I just saw that it was possible and I had the faith that it was going to happen.  I can't believe how much I have changed since then.  I have a long way to go, but that was big for me.  You can change.  And God is right there, empowering you in your efforts.  He wants you to be free and whole and victorious.  You just can't give up.  Ever.

One thing that was paramount for me is that I had to remove myself from the abusive environment.  I am not condoning divorce -- I believe in "until death do you part," but it is not often a person is able to make the changes needed in an environment of abuse, I would venture to guess.  If you are in an abusive marriage or relationship, you have to draw a line and say, "I am not going to live like this any more."  Either you make some changes in how you are treating me, or I will have to remove myself from this environment.  (I recommend the book, Boundaries, by Henry Cloud and John Townsend.)  Things had gotten so bad at the end of my marriage that I feared for my sanity, if not my safety.  I was not being physically abused, but it seemed to be escalating.  I was having thoughts of not wanting to "be here" anymore.  I could never do that to my children or those who love me, but it was a danger sign.  I filed for divorce as a means of drawing a line.  In Texas, we do not have formal separation agreements.  If we did, I might have gone that route (although I don't think it would have ended any differently, to tell you the truth).  I needed to remove myself and my kids from the abusive environment, but I needed child support and knew I would not get any without a court order.  That is why I filed for divorce.  I hoped that he would see that I was serious and change how he was treating me (and the kids).  But he did not.  So I finalized the divorce.  You know sometimes how you don't know how bad you felt until you feel better?  That is how it was for me.  I did not even call a lot of the things I went through in my marriage abuse until I got away from it.  It became so obvious what it was doing to me.  I was diagnosed with Battered Wife Syndrome.  And it was true.  It has taken me many years to get better -- it will be 9 years since my divorce on July 30.  But I had to draw a line and say, "I am not going to let you treat me like that any more."   He still believes to this day that I am the one with all the problems.  There is much more to the story, but let's suffice it to say that he had mental problems of his own.  I and two of my kids all say we don't think we would be alive if I had not removed us from that environment.  My daughter attempted suicide 2 or 3 times (I didn't even know about it two times until later).  My son has had his problems with substance abuse.  But we all agree that we are so much better off now.  And I do not believe it was God's will for us to live like that.  I believe in the sanctity of marriage, but God does not expect us to stay in an environment of abuse like that.  I stuck it out 21 years, and I had to know I did all I could do to try to make it work, but I am so happy to be free from that.  So very happy.

Changing takes a lot of work.  It is not going to magically happen.  So you might as well dig in and start working on the changes, little by little.

I still am having trouble in the morning wanting to make myself a good breakfast.  I think I need to prepare ahead of time.  This morning I was so hungry that I didn't want to wait.  But I ate a banana and then tried to decide what I wanted to do.  I wanted to make protein waffles, but it seemed too hard to wait until that process was done.  I had to take Cas out for his morning walk, so I put some bacon in the oven to cook while I was out.  Then when I got home I scrambled a couple of eggs and made a slice of toast made from light bread, some butter and then some all fruit jelly.  It was all very yummy.  I am going to mix up the batter for protein waffles and make the blueberry topping today, so I will have it ready for breakfast tomorrow and the next couple of days (I make enough for 3 days at a time).

I knew by the number of times I had to run to the restroom yesterday that I was on the right track with my weight loss efforts.  And I had to get up 5 times during the night.  5 times!  But I was down 3 pounds this morning.  Lol.  Drinking your water does that for you.

I went out grocery shopping with my daughters.  Always a fun time with them.  We dropped their groceries at their house and then came to mine.  I put mine away (or a lot of them) and we went swimming in the pool at my lofts.  It was the first time I have done that.  I tried to keep my legs moving while holding on to the side or with my arms over a "noodle".  It didn't seem that hard, but when I got out, my knee was hurting.  And I tried to make it not all about exercise, but also just having fun.  I don't do that enough.

This swimsuit is about 3 sizes too big.  When you lift up the top, you can see I am "swimming" in the built-in bra, lol.  I have one in storage that I am almost into, so I don't see any sense buying another one yet.

I told my girls I had been thinking about this a lot the last couple of days, but the last few years it seems like my life has been about working on myself -- my issues -- and working to make a living.  I don't know how to have fun and I don't do much to have fun.  I told them I wanted that to change.  I want to take little trips just to enjoy myself and go see shows and plays and baseball games and whatever else sounds fun.  I don't want to worry about how tired something is going to make me.  It is time to live my life -- work hard and play harder.  They said they thought that was exactly what I needed to do and seemed glad to hear it.  They said they thought all the things I was working on in myself would happen easier if I was doing that, too.  I also told them, and they understood, that I needed to do a lot of this with someone other than my kids, and they agreed with that.  So I am going to be looking for ways to get out and enjoy myself more and find out what that feels like.

Lunch was two Chipotle tacos -- 7 points.  After we got groceries and were on the way to my place, I was feeling hungry again, so had a peach.  (Man, that was a good peach!)  After swimming, I had a banana and some Light & Fit Greek yogurt.  I've only had 18 points today!  I better get busy!  I have 18 left.  And that's just daily points.  I am eating out with my Sunday school class tomorrow, so will probably use extra points then.

Dinner is some more Sweet and Sour and Meatloaf (it turned out good! although I may use a touch less vinegar next time -- I did the recipe from memory and hadn't made it for years), a potato and some diced onion sautéed in butter, and some roasted Brussels sprouts.  All that is 12 points.  I'll have to decide how I want to spend the rest.

By the way, here is a picture from dinner last night.  It was nice to sit down to a dinner with the music playing and the candles lit.  However, Cas barked even before I sat down (he couldn't get at it), so I closed him up in my room.  He still barked, but I did my best to shut it out.  Hopefully he will learn.  He's not used to me doing this and it seemed "wrong" to him, lol.

I haven't gotten a whole lot of cleaning done today, so will do that this evening, along with another walk with Cas.  He is such a sweetie.  He jumped up in my lap earlier and was insistent on trying to kiss my face repeatedly.  I would try to push him down and he would wiggle until he could get at it again.  It made me giggle. And Aslan has been very insistent about being in my lap today, laptop or no.

How Can I Resist That Face?
Sweet Aslan (and a little ornery)

All in all, it has been a pretty awesome day.


  1. Hi Sheryl! Way to go today! Sounds like you were busy for the first day of the challenge!! Your babies are adorable - I know I couldn't resist that face either =D. So hey, for a "fun" activity, have you considered geocaching? I just started a few months ago and it's a blast! From your pic, it looks like you have an iPhone, and there are several free apps if you think you might be interested. The app teaches you how/what to do AND provides the maps too. I started out driving to the local ones and walking like 10 feet to find one. Now, I'm walking a couple miles and even taking my dogs!

    1. Kris, I didn't even know what geocaching was and had to Google it to find out. I had never heard of it. It sounds like a lot of fun! I think I will wait until after the 100 degree heat is over for the season before trying it, though. I try to avoid the heat around here as much as possible this time of year. It is brutal!

    2. LOL! I had to ask about it too. At first a though it meant finding a bunch of rocks! But yeah, 100 degree heat? Ewww - not fun. And I've been in Dallas when it was 100 degrees at midnight - crazy heat! Definitely a must wait for cooler temps sort of thing.

  2. I love all the positive things going on in this post! Yep, you have to make things happen not wait for things to happen to you.

    And I love that you set the table and ate at the dinner table!! That is one thing I wish I could change about my husband. We eat in the living room, in front of the t.v. every.single.night unless we have company.

    We have a gorgeous dining set and I think it gets used 12 times a year!

    Here's to a great day 2! I am headed out to the farmers market - my goal is more veggies and fruit this week. :D

    1. It was nice sitting down to dinner like that, Biz. Just need my dog to learn to cooperate. The topic at my WW meetings one month was mindful eating and this is one thing we talked about -- making meals more special so they are more emotionally satisfying. I'm going to do it more often.


I welcome your comments and read every one! However, if you are trying to sell me or my readers something, your comment will be deleted posthaste. Thanks for reading my blog and I hope you receive encouragement from it. --Sheryl